Name: Max Steinberg
Hometown: Oakland, CA
Of the nine men who make up the 2015 World Series of Poker Championship Event “November Nine,” there is exactly one previous WSOP bracelet winner amongst the group. That man is Max Steinberg, who will come back to the Penn and Teller Theater at the Rio in Las Vegas this fall with 20.2 million in chips, good enough for fifth place at this point in the tournament.
Steinberg exploded out of the gates with his poker career by finishing as the runner-up in a Latin America Poker Tour (LAPT) tournament back in 2008 for a six figure score. He would continue to hone his game over the next couple of years, earning his second career cash in finishing second to Pascal LeFrancois in a $1500 No Limit Hold’em event during the 2010 WSOP. After that performance, Steinberg focused more on tournament poker with outstanding results.
In 2012, Steinberg reached the goal that many a poker player has, winning a WSOP bracelet in a $1000 No Limit Hold’em tournament over the likes of Matt Stout, Dylan Hortin and Ryan Laplante. That $440,238 payday was his largest ever until this year’s WSOP Championship Event, with the million-dollar plus payday Steinberg has already received driving his career earnings to $2.95 million.
HOW HE GOT HERE
Day 1(C): 26,300
Day 2(B): 232,700
Day 3: 616,500
Day 4: 1.234 million
Day 5: 4.285 million
Day 6: 3.29 million
Steinberg was involved with Zvi Stern in a tense standoff after dinner on Day 7 that basically gave him the stack that he would ride into the “November Nine.” Out of the cutoff seat, Steinberg cracked the betting open with an 850K bet and Stern, in the big blind, took an unusual amount of time before making the call to see a K-J-2 flop. After another long deliberation from Stern (something that became a problem at several points in the tournament) and a check, Steinberg fired again for 1.15 million and, after another lengthy time in the tank, Stern called to head for the turn.
On the trey turn, Stern once again checked and, not clear with where he was in the hand, Steinberg checked back to him. When a seven came on the river, Stern would pop to life with a 2.65 million bet. Now it was Steinberg’s turn to take some time but, after his deliberations brought an all-in move, Stern immediately folded to push the pot to Steinberg and increase his stack to 19 million chips (at that time). All totaled, the single hand took 12 minutes to complete and Steinberg recognized its importance and he hoarded those chips until the “November Nine” was determined.